Okay, I’ll admit. I wished for this one before I’d read my copy of The Good Luck Girls, already sure that I’d love them both. And I was right! This is an incredible duology that packs a punch, with a dark and desperate side to the usual heroics of YA dystopia.
Rating: 4 stars!
Thanks to Hot Key Books for the eARC of this book. It has not affected my honest review.
Content Warnings: discussions of forced prostitution, oppression, sexism, transphobia, abuse, violence against women, violence.
About the book:
The Good Luck Girls are free. Aster’s sister and friends have new lives across the border in Ferron, while Aster remains in Arketta, helping more girls escape. But news of a new welcome house opening fills Aster with a need to do more than just help individual girls. And an unexpected reunion gives her an idea of how to do it. From there, grows a wildly ambitious plan to free all dustbloods, who live as prisoners to Arketta’s landmasters and debt slavery.
When Clementine and the others return from Ferron, they become the heart of a vibrant group of fearless fighters, working to unite the various underclasses and convince them to join in the fight. Along the way, friendships will be forged, lives will be lost, and love will take root even in the harshest of circumstances, between the most unexpected of lovers.
But will Arketta’s dustbloods finally come into power and freedom, or will the resistance just open them up to a new sort of danger?
What did I think?
This review may include spoilers for book 1 in this series, The Good Luck Girls.
The Sisters of Reckoning is the sequel to THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS, an LGBT+ dystopia about a group of girls who escaped the ‘welcome house’ that they’d been sold to as children – a brothel that brands the girls as children with a mark that cannot be hidden. In the first book, they are forced to flee after Clementine accidentally murders the man who visits in her first night as a sundown girl. The Sisters of Reckoning continues on from the end of The Good Luck Girls, where Clementine and the rest of the group have found freedom in neighbouring Ferron, while Aster has remained behind to help more girls escape Arketta one at a time.
I really liked the way that this book built on the first one. In The Good Luck Girls we see a small group in desperate straits, fighting any way that they can for their personal freedom, whereas in The Sisters of Reckoning, they’re taking on systemic issues in Arketta on a huge scale. This isn’t your standard YA overthrow-the-system story. Charlotte Nicole Davis allows her characters to be dark and traumatised and lets them wreak the revenge they deserve. They make choices that are hard, that are awful in some cases, but that they have to make for any change to take place. That doesn’t mean these girls aren’t fiercely moralistic, they are doing the right thing at every opportunity, but the right thing isn’t always the easy thing or the good thing.
One of my favourite facets to this book was Aster’s struggle with her PTSD and sexuality. She’s still suffering PTSD from her time in the welcome house, and on top of that she’s trying to come to terms with her attraction to men and women and how she feels about it. I really loved the way that Charlotte Nicole Davis handled this, and how Aster had to process her attraction alongside her trauma as well as separating it – Aster definitely isn’t the only woman who fears that her same-sex attraction could be caused by her trauma, and this book handles it sensitively.
I really enjoyed the way that this book ended. Without getting into spoiler territory, we got to see the interpersonal conflict which was far more important for our characters than the large scale ‘rebellion’ type scenes I’m used to from YA, and it left me feeling satisfied with this duology as a whole. While I wouldn’t mind reading more from this world, I also can’t wait to see what Charlotte Nicole Davis comes out with next.
Release Date: 10th August 2021